Book Review: Mary Jane by Judith O’Brien


Cover image from Goodreads

If you couldn’t tell by this novel’s cover, I am indeed about to review a Marvel novel. Specifically, a novel based on The Ultimate Spiderman comics.

My knowledge of Spiderman is fairly limited. I know his basic story from watching movies like The Amazing Spiderman,  but I’ve never read the comics or novelizations. I am, however, trying to get into comics, as anyone who has seen my current library holds list will tell you. (Was that you who ordered all those Batman books? Nope, wasn’t me! *takes stack of Batman comics*) My point here is that you don’t need to know a lot about Spidey to get into this book. Should you read it, though?

Mary Jane follows, you guessed it, Mary Jane Watson. MJ, as she is sometimes called, moves to a new school, and who does she find? Her childhood friend (and crush) Peter Parker. A lot has changed since they’ve last seen each other, as you might guess. However, MJ has a whole life of her own. She’s taking dance classes, trying to deal with her dysfunctional family issues, ace her science project, as well as fit in. But she keeps coming back to Peter, and the mystery masked guy in her neighborhood. Will Peter feel the same way about her?

Honestly, this book was a little silly. I doubt it was written for older  teenagers who tend to read darker novels and less of the fluffy romance stuff. But what made this silly was just the awkwardness! I kid you not, there’s practically an entire page about MJ feeling Peter’s abs. I mean, really?

The back of the book claims this novel is a “compelling” read. It was entertaining enough, because it’s Spiderman, but compelling isn’t exactly the word I’d use for this book. I also can’t get into this too much, but a character’s eating disorder seemed to help them a little more than hurt them. Yes, they finally discovered that they had one and that it was bad and started to recover, but it still didn’t really send the right message across to the audience, who again are probably middle school age girls. In my opinion, a young girl reading this might still get the wrong idea.

Read this for some quick entertainment, but nothing more. If you’re having a book hangover and love Marvel movies, give it a go. Just don’t expect anything incredibly literary or thrilling. I gave this one three stars.

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”


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